Letter from Stanley Wrzyszczynski

To MN,

Geez I have lots to write today. But this seems to be the most important.

Having my art in remission has done my health a world of good. Last night the visiting interim artist opened his show. I’ve visited with him a few times in the last few months so am vaguely familiar with him. His show was this disparate collection of images, technology, etc. It was roughly grouped around a certain organic process “idea”. Usually these university art department affairs intimidate the hell out of me because the faculty come across as “authorities” on the work at hand (they are in front of their students, literally- they have to be one step ahead of their students, which is where they have to be otherwise they would be out of a job!). So I’m talking with the head of the new technologies, IT guru, super successful math whiz turned artist and I point out that the works presented by the interim prof are right up his alley, they are “quality information”. This startled him but he maintained his cool. I asked him what he thought of it all and he said hasn’t seen enough, but he is starting to look for a thread. I asked if he was sure there was one. Oh yeah, he pointed out specifics that indicate something unifying must be at play. The conversation went on like this, him interpreting, me questioning, being skeptical, etc. The short of it was that he approached the show in toto as an installation of sorts, as an individual piece writ large. So it was this kind of Rube Goldberg machine for him and what was important was unearthing that all important code with which the program is written. Behind it all stands the author, the artist (and behind that the brand?) and once he’s got that, well he’s discovered the ownership, he’s got it pegged- zeros and ones, boundaries, lines of demarcation and borders appear.

With the end of art, art becomes analogous to literature. Poetry hasn’t had to justify itself for ages. It is simply assumed as a literary form. Science justifies itself as part of its self definition (without it, no scientific knowledge). Art presents images, forms, framed and staged actions, fingers pointing (? I question that one. Seems more definitive of philosophy). With the waning of the hyper celebrity of technology, the cybernetic ethic, “quality information” is still dominant. And so it was with this show, with all the pieces relaying information, being informative. Little craft or handwork was spotlighted or emphasized though the accumulation (the curating of this cabinet of curiosities) was evidence itself of careful selection, manipulation and “technical” handwork to elide the presence (voice) of the author; in the Duchamp sense, of the objects as manufactured. Hence it’s success in coming across as a random and disparate collection of images, forms, and framed/staged actions. It was a joy (health wise) to witness and know that there was no master code to some program that “powered” this production, no track or thread that created a “machine” in the Goldberg sense (not Duchamp). ¬†Yet there definitely was a unity, a cohesion, an interplay with the aesthetic (the why and how of the making and doing). And such it must be with art after the end of art.

All for the best,
Stanley